Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero was introduced as a Los Angeles Dodger and will wear number 7 this upcoming season. He was signed to be the teams primary second baseman, but questions have risen after an off-season in which he missed most of winter ball with a hamstring injury. Guerrero will join fellow Cuban Yasiel Puig on the team and give him a fellow countrymen to ease his transition to the big leagues.
According to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com, Guerrero described the difference between the two players during the Dodgers caravan Tour today:
He has a different style, Guerrero said. “I’m more calm in the game. Puig is aggressive with a lot of energy. I’ve even keel.
So, are there other players in Cuba more like Puig?
He’s a little different,” Guerrero said in Spanish, although he has begun English lessons.
Puig bursted onto the scene last June with the Dodgers, hitting over .400 in his first month and infusing a last place team with energy that helped them take the National League West title. Manager Don Mattingly had a tough time slowing Puig down on the base paths and on defense, as he ran into more than a few outs and constantly overthrew the cut-off men.
The 23-year-old’s energy was off the charts, but the Dodgers worked on harnessing that energy into positive results. Guerrero admits to being more relaxed and will bring a different approach to the game. He’s continuing to learn a new position and has been complimented on his work ethic the past few weeks. The 27-year-old will be competing this spring in a job that he’s leading the pack in and will be expected to speed up his development as a second baseman.
While Guerrero will be compared to Puig quite often this season, it’s apparent that the two are on different levels, but the Dodgers will need both to succeed in order to win a second straight division title.
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